Poll: Preferred way of giving a math talk

What is your preferred way of giving a math talk?

  • Smartboard technology (51%, 25 Votes)
  • Blackboard and chalk (27%, 13 Votes)
  • Whiteboard and markers (14%, 7 Votes)
  • Slides with Beamer, Powerpoint, or overhead projector (8%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 49

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  • Jason Polak says:

    I chose blackboard. Whiteboard markers dry out, smell weird, and seems less environmental (throwing away the used marker).

  • Elizabeth Henning says:

    Beamer is a monstrosity and people should stop using it; I voted for slides only because I've never used a smartboard. However, any digital format is a far superior choice to blackboard/whiteboard because of the greater flexibility as well as accessibility for people with disabilities.

    • Jason Polak says:

      Definitely have to disagree about Beamer. While it's easy to abuse with too much text and some themes are hideous, it's a really nice way to produce a shorter 20-30 minute talk. I've also enjoyed many Beamer talks I've went to.

      Personally, I also find the blackboard superior to electronic forms, at least in the sense that it pretty much always works, is easy to use, and rarely has serious distracting glitches like those that frequently occur with technology.

      That being said, I do like the idea of preserving a written talk using a smartboard. But I am actually surprised smartboard/technology got so many votes because in the hundreds of talks I have seen, I have very rarely seen a smartboard in use.

  • Rustam says:

    I like combining both Beamer and Blackboard, that way I do not need to write and draw diagrams, but some definitions or important theorems I can keep on blackboard to be "in front of the eyes" of the audience. I have never been to a smartboard talk.

    • Jason Polak says:

      Yes, I think highlights one of the disadvantages of just beamer or slides in general: it's useful to keep some of the main results displayed at all times. Also I have found that just the act of the speaker changing to the blackboard breaks the hypnotic effect of scrolling through slides.

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